Automated text messaging was as effective as direct phone calls in getting unvaccinated patients to seek out a Covid-19 injection, according to a study in JAMA Network Open. The researchers had speculated that texting might reach more people, but the numbers were almost identical.
More than 16,000 patients were separated into three groups: one receiving just phone calls from the health system to set up a vaccine appointment, another receiving an automated text later followed up by a phone call, and the last receiving only an automated text urging them to make an appointment. The study demonstrated that there are cheaper alternatives to traditional patient outreach, as text messaging is less resource-intensive than phone methods.
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